Signup date: 14 Jul 2011 at 10:12pm
Last login: 15 Jul 2011 at 7:54pm
Post count: 18
Meant to say that there's no sliding scale - say if you have a load of minor corrections which the examiner thinks will take 5 weeks to complete then its £250. Part of the problem with this is that the examiner is making a judgement on how you work as an individual. Now given that I'm currently unemployed since submitting my thesis, it seems rather strange that the examiners make this judgement (I was told that it wouldn't be feasible for me to complete the changes if I worked full time on them - so 40hrs a week x 4 weeks = 160 hours as a rough estimate?).
Some updates regarding all this - spoke to the postgrad Tutor who was fairly supportive (think he's a bit stuck as he has to be impartial in all this) - I met him over where he lives a few miles away and had a bit of a chat over a coffee. He recommended to try and get the corrections done - not asap, but just get on with them. Second, he said that he would try and see whether the uni would waiver the fee if I got the corrections to the internal examiner within 4 weeks. The tutor is a great guy really - and was helpful even though I think it is limited what he can really do.
However, my supervisor has since emailed the faculty (but hasn't directly replied to my email to me - and she's offered no support to me), from which the chair of faculty board reviewed my examiner's report and have basically stood behind the rules and the report (which I'm trying to get a hold of) and said that I have to go with uni policy and pay the £250. This chair thinks that the corrections won't be done within 4 weeks - although I'm a bit sceptical about this as he is from a very different field from my own (although in the same medical/human sciences faculty). Part of the problem is that it is my word against someone else's, and that the examiners may have worded the report different to what was said during the viva to cover their own backs.
It doesn't surprise me that the faculty are standing behind the examiners - but this is only based upon the board chair reading the examiners comments without considering my perspective. Obviously its very tricky and I don't want to end up in a slanging/mud-slinging match with academics or university staff as they will just close their ranks. I'm not too wound up by this, my parents are advising to just pay the fee and get the corrections done whenever I can. - which is massively unfair given the support they have offered me over the course of the PhD (I think a previous poster had said that it sounds like I'm paying £250 to give the examiners a few more weeks to review my corrections, however major or minor they are).
I know this is an extreme story but its just disappointing how as a student you have little rights in the process. I'm going to investigate making a complaint/appeal (not sure whether its worth it) and speak to the uni's independent student advise service and see what they can advise. Thanks for all the advice and support - will keep you posted.
Thanks for the advice. I'm due to see the postgrad tutor for our department today so will see what he says. It does seem a really arbitrary period for minor corrections at my uni (4 weeks) - even my external said that his uni give 6 months even for minor-minor corrections.
Having slept on it I'm not as wound up as yesterday, but am hoping to find out if I can do the corrections within 4 weeks if I am still required to pay the fee. Will let you know how this pans out. Cheers!
Universities and departments often have some internal pot of money for funding conference travel - might not be much, but worth applying for. Don't pay out of your own living wage whatever you do.
Conferences are useful for networking (urgh - hate the term) particularly in scouting out potential employers/examiners/collaborators, but I wouldn't get too worried about having to present your work everywhere. Chances are you won't be able to present until end of your second year when you've got data collected and analysed.
If you're funded by a research council check their guidelines - usually the main research councils have money for you for conference travel (Research Support Funding its usually called). If you're institution/uni funded you might not have any money put aside, so ask around.
It depends on the department, but usually supervisors need to publish to keep up their academic profile and it's in the student's interest to get your work published as this can help with the viva - different supervisors seem more/less interested in this. I know of people who have published prior to viva, been accepted for publication prior to viva, submitted but been rejected numerous times - all of whom got through.
If you're looking at staying in academia I would recommend at least thinking about getting your work written up for publication at some point - at the end of the day it's in your interest to have as good a publication record as possible.
Your supervisor should've been encouraging and supporting your paper-writing, but many supervisors are like that (don't seem that interested or that helpful in paper writing). Don't take it personally, academics are academics.
Don't get too wound up by it. If you want to publish your PhD work for your own career, best thing to do is to bite the bullet and work with the supervisor to get it published - you don't have to have any future contact with this supervisor post-PhD.
** Continued below**
At this point I was really upset (not surprising perhaps), and was in complete shock and was in tears, and spent the rest of the day really devastated and confused by their recommendation (and I'm not someone who gets upset that easily - I'm male too!).
Also, I've just received the examiner's report and I think that I can address the comments and send them for review by the internal examiner within 4 weeks. So I'm annoyed that my examiners are recommending that I resubmit for re-examination (without viva) without any good reason. This resubmission also requires me to pay £250 to the university for the pleasure - which I completely object to doing.
I think that there are a few reasons for this result - one, my internal examiner doesn't feel confident in signing off my corrections under the minor corrections (which is standard procedure) and wants the external's input under the major corrections/reexamination option; two, I don't feel that I've been given a good enough reason for major corrections and that this option of major corrections just affords the examiners time to review the changes around their summer holidays (my examiners suggested that my outcome was due to time, not due to the quality of my research which they felt was good). I should also mention that my viva was more than 3 months after submission - which is against uni policy - and that I had already moved my viva date to accomodate my internal examiner (so I'm having to bend over backwards to have the pleasure of their viva, and the fact they can't review the comments because it's the summer time, and they couldn't do the viva any sooner).
I just feel completely devastated by this outcome after having such a positive viva, and that there's really little justification for the major corrections. Because both examiners said that I had definitely passed and said that the changes would basically be approved straight away I'm quite confused - I think that my corrections are more minor than major, and definitely do-able within the 4 weeks time limit under "minor amendments" (my internal had basically said that I could submit in that time, but it would be a push for the time/supervisor excuse).
I'm just starting to get advice from the university sources and from the postgrad tutor in my dept (who I know really well and I've worked with - who I'm meeting tomorrow in his home town, completely of his own accord - supervisor has been no help), but just wanted to share my story and see whether anyone has any advice. Have already started the corrections irrespective of the time - so might be interesting if I get the comments resolved within the 4 weeks (disproves the examiner's rather weak argument not to award minor corrections). Thanks!
I had a very similar experience with supervisors and comments, so can fully appreciate your pain. There's a couple of things you can do: get advice from the regular university sources (as said elsewhere), state to your supervisors that you are going to submit on Date X (and keep to it! I did this and it kicked one supervisor into life) - you may find that they wake up, alternatively try and be more critical in your writing and review your own work (I had to do this, it's hard, but you'll probably get more out of this and will understand your work more - try and think of how you would review your work as a peer reviewer, don't be overly harsh but think critically about your work). The worst thing to do is to do nothing and keep faffing around waiting for your supervisors to keep giving you excuses/fobbing you off, as any comments you do get are probably going to be rubbish or the result of a rushed read. If you're happy with your work and you feel ready to submit, do it! Personally, I think that some students with poorer supervision actually learn more and become more independent (although it's not a fair system, crap supervisors should be sacked!) - I'm aware of some students who had too much supervision and help and are probably worse off for it.
Have a bit of a strange experience with a viva, and a subsequent fall out. I'm in the process of sorting out this problem so details may change. Wonder whether anyone has experienced anything similar, or has any advice?!?
Basically, have very recently had my viva after a fairly tumultuous time with the PhD (number of issues with lack of funding for experiments/conferences, supervisors not being available at times, general lack of resources, etc.). So worked very independently and submitted a thesis I was fairly pleased with - this was a few months ago. Recently had my viva, which went very well, I answered the questions well and the viva was generally a positive experience. Had around 3.5 hours of the main viva - although it was long, there were a few general discussions about wider theory issues - but felt quite positive about the result when I left the examiners to deliberate. They deliberated for around 10-15 mins tops and was called back in. The first thing they said was "well done", that I had done well, and that I had "definitely passed". However they were recommending that I be given the resubmission and six months option - my uni allows for outright passes without corrections (rare), pass with minor corrections which are submitted for internal examiner approval within 4 weeks of receiving the examiner's report (usual outcome), or that the thesis is resubmitted and re-examined either with or without another viva (major corrections).
What's really frustrating is that my examiners both said that my thesis was well written, that they enjoyed reading it, that it constituted a good piece of research, but that they thought that I might not be able to resolve their corrections within the 4 weeks. Neither examiner referred to any "major corrections" that they wanted in the thesis, but stated that they were concerned that without having the input from my supervisor (who my internal examiner said wouldn't be available over the next four weeks - which isn't the case, as my supervisor is available for meetings/help) that I wouldn't be able to submit the "minor corrections in that time. Whats strange is that I hadn't mentioned any supervisory problems at all. Also, my internal examiner who isn't a particular expert in my field wanted the external to approve the changes (basically my uni has shredded staff left, right and centre, and its getting harder to find appropriate examiners), and also that my external might not be available to review the changes after 4 weeks. My internal also said that she thought I might be pushed to finish the corrections within 4 weeks, even working full-time on them (I'm currently unemployed and job seeking - so I do have time to devote to corrections).
So after having a really positive viva and getting some very good comments about my work (with some criticisms - but answerable criticisms), my examiners were recommending that I resubmit under the major corrections option on their report. At this point I was re
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